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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings added style and new features to the BMW's mid-sized SUV. Talk about the BMW F25 X3 with other X3 owners now!

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  #1  
Old 03-01-2014, 12:27 AM
DaveB F25 X3 DaveB F25 X3 is offline
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Location: United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: F25 X3 SE Auto (2011)
Transfer Box MY 2011

For a year now, I have experienced a slight juddering when setting off from a T junction with a little steering lock on. I thought it may have been the tyres or tracking, or just a 4 wheel drive thing... The juddering was intermittent and could not be induced..
Then a couple of weeks ago I noticed another power train related issue. At very low speed, less than 10 mph, if I took my foot off the gas, I felt a clunking sensation, almost like the gear box was jamming. Again this issue was intermittent.
On Thursday the issues were both present and I had time to take the car to the dealer.. I explained the issues to the technician and he immediately suggested it could be a transfer box issue, I reversed the car away so that he had room to get into the passenger side.. He got in and we set off, 5 yards later he said yes, it's probably the transfer box... Actually he said he noticed it when I was reversing....
Ok Monday I have to take the car in for diagnostics... I will update more as things develop..
Fortunately the car is still under warranty, now I am wandering if this is a one-off, or if anyone else has had similar issues with their X3s, I do love the car I enjoy driving it, and driving it hard too... But should this component fail so soon.. The car has 38000 miles on the clock.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2014, 05:59 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Location: Sacramento CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,050
Mein Auto: X3
Transfer Box MY 2011

Clunking sounds at low speeds while decelerating could also indicate a failing differential (likely front but could be rear) in addition to the transfer case. I am at 135k and that was my only issue with my 09 since new and covered by warranty.

Your model has the same driveline as the previous generation x3. Transfer case issues are fairly common...especially on used cars. What we have found the most common controllable cause is tire replacement. All 4 tires need to have roughly the same outside diameter (within 2 mm). If any one replaces only 1 or 2 tires failure will happen within short order. Not saying this was your issue but something to remember in the future. However, on this board failure on original owner cars is rare since all know tire history.

Another highly recommended safe guard is regular xfer case and differential fluid changes. I follow 25k, others 50k. The key is regular maintenance. Neither are lifetime fluids.

Let us know final outcome. The dealer will get you patched up in short order I am sure.

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Last edited by x3brian; 03-02-2014 at 06:02 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2014, 11:52 PM
DaveB F25 X3 DaveB F25 X3 is offline
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Location: United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: F25 X3 SE Auto (2011)
Just a quick update.. They changed the oil in the transfer case.. So far it seems OK..
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2014, 06:08 PM
Doug in NC Doug in NC is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 x3 28i
Do you guys have the procedures for changing the transfer case fluid? What type of fluid, quantity, are the drain and fill plugs 6mm Allen sockets? Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2014, 12:10 PM
DaveB F25 X3 DaveB F25 X3 is offline
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Location: United Kingdom
 
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Mein Auto: F25 X3 SE Auto (2011)
Sorry, no. My dealer said there is no schedule for changing the oil in the transfer case, it's a non serviceable item??? But clearly it can be changed..
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2014, 01:43 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Transfer Box MY 2011

Yes it can be changed and is quite easy. The procedure for the f25 should be identical to the e83.

It takes 1L of BMW transfer case fluid. It's about $50 a bottle.

It has two 17 mm bolts one for fill and one for drain in front of the transmission x member.

Undo the fill plug first with an open ended box wrench. You can't get a socket up there.

Take off the drain plug. Let drain in oil catch pan.

Check the two copper washers, I recommend buying two new ones at parts counter when you buy the fluid.

Once drained replace drain plug and use a brand new or thoroughly clean and uncontaminated fluid transfer pump to refill via fill hole. Keep pumping until the fluid comes out of the fill hole.

Change every 25 to 50k miles. The computer tracks a wear value that's only view all from a dealer type scanner but if you regularly change it will never trip.



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Last edited by x3brian; 03-12-2014 at 01:44 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2015, 06:28 AM
enjoydriving enjoydriving is offline
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Mein Auto: 3.0d X3, 2009
I did quite a bit work on my E83 transfer box. Now I'm thinking of switching to F25 so Popping into this thread to see if any improvement on the F25 transfer box.

Oil alone, that's what I've found which I've reported back to several E83 threads:

The original BMW TF-0870 fluid is an old type of mineral oil plus some additives made by Shell, very smelly. The problem is it's not doing its job very well. In particular, it causes the transfer box worn out very quickly. One of the indicator is the drained oil has lots of metallic particles. The other indicator is the chain gets loose so the box gets either noisy or hesitated.

There is a German company called Ravenol. They make fully synthetic TF-0870 fluid for Land Rover and others. The fluid colour is clearer and it has no smell comparing to the Shell. I've changed to the Ravenol and never go back, the box works much better.

Before I got the Ravenol, I figured out the Shell oil problem. It is the lubricity of the mineral oil so I used 0.6 L Shell and 0.2 L REDLINE D6. The mix has similar result as the RAVENOL as the D6 is a fully synthetic transmission oil and it has the same GL4 as the TF-0870. More importantly it suits boxes with clutches. As this is an experiment so please don't hold me responsible. If possible, use the Ravenol as it has exactly the same TF-0870 spec as the Shell and it's fully synthetic.

As far as the computer concern, according to BMW computer, you need to reset the integrators when changing oil. If you don't, it will still work but I guess it may take a while to learn or phase in?

Hope the info helps

Last edited by enjoydriving; 01-11-2015 at 11:25 PM. Reason: word correction
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2015, 03:49 PM
fb88 fb88 is offline
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Location: NJ
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Mein Auto: 2014 X1 xDrive28i
How do you reset it yourself? I have indie change the fluid but I don't know if they reset that value. "The computer tracks a wear value"
I wouldn't think the computer does anything different based on the value?
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2015, 11:24 PM
enjoydriving enjoydriving is offline
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Location: Sydney, OZ
 
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Mein Auto: 3.0d X3, 2009
You need to have access to a BMW computer called DIS (for E83, may be different for F25) then to set all the 'integrators' back to zero. My best guess is if you don't, the car would still learn that slowly so the first moment after the oil change the box would not be at the optimum setting.

Last edited by enjoydriving; 01-12-2015 at 01:06 AM. Reason: additional info
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